by Milo Clark
(Swans - January 16, 2006) What if all the stuffs I want to believe I know and on which I rely in my soul of souls are simply wrong? Will I then join the human race and find acceptance and succor?
Other than occasional aberrations and glitches, history appears to show that nasties outrank goodies. Shall I invoke Rev. Pat Robertson on this issue?
Historian John Lukacs, whom I cite frequently, suggests through his many books that the times since WWII ended in 1945 represent a brief interlude. That brief interlude colors my perspectives strongly. He also suggests that it is over already. And that we are returning to a historical norm of barbarity.
Post-WWII, in the once United States of America, most of Europe, Japan, and a few other places, most folks found not only a degree of material prosperity but relative safety and security. From comfortable niches within safety and security, ignorance of others' traumas came to be bliss.
The Republican Party takes as gospel that unfortunates bring their troubles on themselves. Therefore, they have done their best, aided by others who saw political expediency therein, to dismantle the safety nets assembled during the Great Depression of the 1930s and expanded during the early years after WWII ended. Under Democrat Bill Clinton and a Republican dominated Congress, welfare as we knew it was dismantled in 1996. Since 2000, Congress has worked assiduously to scatter the rubble.
To my dismay, elections tend to favor politicians whom I find abominable. I spent many years in California voting against Reagan while he was elected again and again to the top of the feeding chain. In 2004, about 59 million folks chose to restore George W. Bush to his seat in the Oval Office.
Currently, the entire Hawaii Congressional delegation is nominal Democrats and actual Republicrats. Both Senators are ardent supporters of drilling in the Alaskan wilderness for about six months additional supply of crude oil at costs beyond comprehension. All voted for the war in Iraq and continue to support the additional funds demanded. They persist in standing down as Bush stands up.
Governments since the beginning of recorded history have tended to be authoritarian in nature. The brief experiments in beneficent rule or involvement of people through voting processes, rigged always to some degree, flourished after WWII, also. While voting is more widespread, authoritarian governance is little affected thereby. Stacking votes subtly or blatantly is now broadly assumed.
Nominal democratic structures in government fail utterly to mask the undemocratic actualities within which virtually all spend their working lives. Corporations are anti-democratic as well as undemocratic.
Today, those who may appear to counter such trends, Chávez of Venezuela, for example, do not shirk taking power to hand. The peasants in Bolivia and Peru, to a degree, have fought back against the more naked of power and water grabs by their rulers or the corporations, oligarchies and plutocrats who assume control is still theirs as it has been and likely will be again.
The once United States of America, an historical aberration in so many dimensions, creaks at the joints and rushes out to define by force how others shall create their structures of governance. Exhorting abroad what is dismantled at home, the current administration speaks with forked tongue out of many sides of mouth well received by millions in spite of apparent deviations from actualities.
Relative prosperity is becoming more relative as rich get richer, poor get poorer and those between stagnate. The government insists that inflation, for example, is well controlled while individuals experience increasing prices outside the basket purported to represent actualities.
Lies, whether blatant untruths or partially so, always present to some degree within matrices and shades of governmental and organizational philologies, tend further to darken the grays of today's official verbiage.
Energies have a history of disappearing to reappear in new guises. Fossil fuels are being used up and fossil fuel use goes exponential again and again. Efficiencies upon efficiencies on top of efficiencies give us more bang for every buck or every drop thereby overriding the declines in reported availabilities of fuels to meet demands.
As is shown in recent events, alarums and excursions about gas prices are rather well absorbed and quickly abandoned as an issue by most people affected.
For all the hullabaloo, mine included, alternatives stay firmly locked to peripheries while excesses are routinely exceeded into norms. Temporary lapses in SUV and pick'mup sales and mega-engined gulpers will, in time, pass as the big car companies have shown time and again over the last fifty years. See what is currently being advertised in all media. Simple actuality seems to be that the more we use, the more there is and will be. There are and remain no excesses which are not being exceeded.
Leopold Kohr may be wrong to insist that implosion is the predictable outcome of excesses. I have hung my hat on Kohr's hood for all these years. So, am I wrong, too?
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